The collection of good data is essential for good decision making. Therefore, the selection or construction of instruments to measure the quality of resources, program activities, and program outcomes as well as the outcomes of gifted curriculum and instruction is a critical step in completing the cycle of program planning and implementation. In addition to collecting student outcome data, program administrators need to gather information about every component of a gifted program to determine whether it is functioning as intended and whether it has achieved the outcomes expected. (See Chapter 42 by Callahan in this book for an overview of specifying components and outcomes of a program.)

TYPES OF DATA FOR EVALUATING GIFTED PROGRAMS: FORMATIVE AND SUMMATIVE DATA There are a variety of ways of capturing data about the quality of program activities and the impacts of a gifted program on the gifted students it serves. The nature of the evaluation questions asked and the types of data collected to address these questions can be divided into two categories: (1) formative evaluation questions; and (2) summative evaluation questions. Formative evaluation questions typically focus on examining the degree to which resources are adequate, collecting data on whether activities are being implemented as described and intended, or monitoring progress toward achievement of goals. Formative evaluation may include questions such as:

• Is the gifted program operating as described in program documents? • Are funds being appropriately spent? • Are qualified teachers hired and retained? • Are resources available to implement the curriculum and instruction as